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Angular momentum desaturation for Skylab using gravity gradient torquesAn angular momentum desaturation method for momentum exchange devices of orbiting spacecraft is described. The specific application of the method is to the Skylab which contains three double-gimbaled control moment gyros for precise attitude control and maneuvering. It is assumed that the attitude reference is inertially fixed and that two of the vehicle principal moments of inertia are much larger than the third. Gravity gradient torques and resultant angular momentum accumulation are developed for small deviations from the reference. The assumed moment-of-inertia distribution allows desaturation about all axes with only two attitude angles each for the two axes with large moments of inertia. The necessary desaturation maneuvers can be decoupled for a special set of orbital coordinates. All maneuvers are made during the night portion of the orbit, and the percentage utilized for desaturation is selectable. Expressions for the attitude angle commands are developed assuming infinite vehicle rates. The effect of finite rates introduces an efficiency into the desaturation. Expressions for this efficiency are developed and means for compensation are treated. Arbitrary misalignments between geometric vehicle axes and principal moment-of-inertia axes are permissible. An angle bias about the sun line minimizes the angular momentum accumulation about the sun line projection into the orbital plane. Adaptive desaturation maneuver limiting consistent with the available maneuver momentum is included.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Kennel, H. F. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
September 2, 2013
Publication Date
December 7, 1971
Subject Category
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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NameType 19720005933.pdf STI